Monday, August 11, 2014

3-2-1 Pie Crust Recipe + Tips to Make a Perfect Pie Crust

Hi.  My name is Lynette and I used to be afraid to make pie crust.  Until now.  

I'm sharing my story that, maybe if you, too, live in fear of producing a flaky, buttery crust and end up covertly grabbing a store-bought one instead, that you know there is hope.

In my search for the best pie crust recipe and tricks to make it turn out flawlessly, I ran across this vid.  I learned a lot from Chef Cristina and have made several pies since getting this recipe.  I'm not kidding... several pies.  Each have turned out so well that I am convinced that it is good enough to share with you, my friend!

You see, it isn't just the recipe that makes a great crust.  It's technique, technique, technique!  Yes, it may require just a little extra time, but it does make all the difference in the world.

Now something of note is that a pie crust and a pâte brisée are not the same thing.  A pie crust is to be light and flaky; merely a way to present the glorious filling in a somewhat orderly fashion.  A pâte brisée, on the other hand, is truly a member of the party.  It is more substantial with a sugar cookie-like texture and is better suited for tarts.  

So... today, my young padawan, I will share with you the skill to make your own flaky pie crust so you do not have to turn to the Dark Side in the grocery store.

Below, I have adapted Chef Cristina's recipe a little to suit our real-food journey:


3-2-1 Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts
  • 3 C sprouted soft whole wheat (pastry) flour
  • 2 sticks butter (or ½ C butter / ½ C palm shortening)
  • 1 C ice water (or less)
  • 1 T turbinado or sucanat
  • 1 t salt
  1. Freeze butter.  If using palm shortening, measure and freeze that, too, for about an hour or until hard.
  2. Cut frozen butter (and palm shortening) into small cubes/shards.  Do this quickly as you don't want the fats to become soft.
  3. Add all ingredients EXCEPT WATER into mixer bowl.  Using paddle attachment of your stand mixer, mix on lowest speed until crumbly.  This will take about 2 minutes.  You will still see pieces of butter and shortening in the flour.  Check dough to see if when pressed together in the hands it holds together.  Dough should be somewhat loose with bits of butter still visible. This is good!  (See video)
  4. Add about ¾ C of the water.  Mix on low just until dough starts to come together. You may need to add more water if all the flour is not incorporated in the dough.  Be careful not to mix too long as this will produce a tough crust.  This whole process takes maybe 1 minute.
  5. Turn dough out onto floured surface.  Pat out slightly.  Fold dough over on itself 3-4 times.  This will help create the flaky layers we covet so!
  6. Mound dough and cut in half, making each into a disk.  
  7. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 60 minutes or up to 2 days. (Don't be tempted to rush here... This step will allow the gluten in the flour to relax and be much easier to work with.)  
  8. When ready to bake pie, make filling first.
  9. Take pie crust out of refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before rolling out. This will allow it to soften slightly, make rolling easier and prevent cracking.  
  10. Unwrap dough and place on a floured surface.  Roll out, turning dough a quarter turn after each pass.  Add a small amount of flour under dough if it begins to stick.  If crust cracks around the edges while rolling out, lay a tea towel or plastic wrap over the top for just a minute or two, allowing it to soften a little bit more.  Continue rolling until dough is about 1" larger than pie plate.
  11. Gently press crust into bottom, corners, and sides of pan.  Do not stretch dough.
  12. Prior to filling, brush beaten egg on bottom and sides of crust to prevent sogginess.  Brushing top crust with beaten egg gives the crust a beautiful golden, glossy finish.
  13. Freeze completed pie for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking.
 My favorite do ahead tip:  Place the wrapped pie crust disk in a freezer bag; label.  Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight.  This works fabulously and doesn't take much time at all. Then when you want to make a pie, half the work is already done!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Menu Monday, August 11

We have just two weeks before we start school and I have a list of things to do a mile long. 

This week, one of my goals to to preserve more of our kale crop which has been especially good this year.  I have been dehydrating and making kale powder (dried and then powdered in my food processor) to sprinkle in eggs, soups, sauces, etc., and plan to do a little more.  I'm also going to freeze some for vegetable and bean soups that we love so much during the fall and winter.  Just blanch washed leaves for about 2 minutes, remove and place leaves in cold water, drain well, chop, and place in marked freezer containers. 

Dinner:   

Monday
Tuesday
Simple summer succotash; salad with basil-dijon vinaigrette
Wednesday
Bacon, kale, & zucchini omelets; blueberry muffins
Thursday
No-Noodle Sausage & Sour Cream Bake; sautéed carrot/kale/zucchini medley; salad
Friday
Saturday
Chicken Parmesan* with pasta; Caesar salad
Sunday
Family potluck (bringing pasta salad*)
*Recipe coming

Monday, July 21, 2014

Menu Monday, July 21

This past week, we picked blueberries and blackberries.  We have the blueberries in the freezer and some in the dehydrator.  As for the blackberries, I did freeze some whole to use for tarts and desert garnishes through the year, but most of them will end up as jam...today.  I wasn't able to get to them as quickly as I wanted because my wonderful hubby and I painted the showroom for our new shop location.  I was so thankful that the weather was cooler because the room has 16 foot ceilings.  Sooooo glad that's done!

With some of the blueberries, I made a pie that turned out fabulously.  Don't worry, I share that this week just in case you, too, like blueberry pie!

You are going to see some repeats from last week on this week's menu.  Sorry about that.  My hubby was out of town for work for a few days...

Dinner:   

Monday
Taco bar
Tuesday
Mac & cheese with kielbasa; salad with vinaigrette
Wednesday
Marinated BBQ chicken kabobs*; pineapple chunks; coleslaw
Thursday
Dinner out
Friday
Beef Souvlaki with tzatziki*; cucumber salad; Greek potatoes; broccoli; Greek butter cookies*
Saturday
Pork spare ribs*; pasta salad*; fruit salad
Sunday
Chicken wings*; mushroom risotto; sautéed carrot/kale/zucchini medley
  *Lots of recipes coming!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beef or Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki


http://www.hgjones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/beef-souvlaki.jpgThis is another great recipe for the grill.  Served with fresh tzatziki, Greek potatoes, and a cool cucumber salad, this recipe is sure to please.

Beef or Chicken Souvlaki

  • ¼ C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 C white wine
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary
  • ¼ t pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 1-2 lbs. beef steaks or chicken, cut into 1" cubes
  1. Put all ingredients into the zipper bag. 
  2. Add meat of choice.
  3. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours for beef; up to 6 hours for chicken.  Turn occasionally to coat meat evenly. 
  4. Thread meat onto skewers.
  5. Cook marinade, bringing to a boil.  Brush marinade on meat while grilling.


Tzatziki
Makes 2 C
  • 1 C very thick yogurt 
  •  ¼ C sour cream 
  •  ½ cucumber, grated, and salted lightly for 5 minutes and squeezed between the hands to remove 
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced 
  •  ¼ t lemon juice 
  •  Generous pinch sea salt 
  • 2 T olive oil
  1. Lightly salt the grated cucumber and allow to sit in a colander or strainer for 5 minutes.  Gently squeeze cucumber to remove excess liquid.
  2. Combine all ingredients.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Marinated BBQ Chicken Kabobs

http://relishit.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/dsc_0289.jpgOn a hot summer night, who wants to cook indoors?  Not me!  So, this fantastic recipe really fits the bill if you want to barbecue, you have chicken breasts on the menu, and you've got a few hours to let your chicken marinate.

We love this dish served with grilled vegetables, rice, and coleslaw.  Enjoy!




  • ½ C olive oil or avocado oil
  • ¼ C low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced into thirds, or use 1/4 t garlic powder or to taste
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1” cubes
  1. In a bowl mix together the oil with soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, garlic slices, black pepper and cayenne. 
  2.  Place the chicken cubes in the bowl and toss to coat with the marinade. 
  3.  Cover and chill for 4 hours. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade.  Pour marinade into a saucepan then remove the garlic slices and discard; boil for 10 minutes over medium-low heat (start timing the 10 minutes after boiling starts).
  5. Thread the chicken onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in cold water for 30 minutes. 
  6. Place the skewers on a grill and cook for 18-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (being careful not to overcook!), basting with cooked marinade during the last 10-12 minutes of cooking.  Note: Chicken is done when no longer pink and juices run clear.